Idaho First District Congressman Raúl R. Labrador issued the following statement on the House of Representatives passing H.R. 1229, Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act & H.R. 1230, Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act, which he voted in favor of.
"We are seeing record high prices for gasoline and crude oil which directly impact every sector in our economy. From small businesses to the basic needs of a family -- we simply just cannot afford to see the prices at the pump become exponentially more expensive.
"When President Obama took office took office in January 2009 the average price Americans paid for a gallon of gas was $1.84. But today Idahoans are paying $3.80 per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline and some Americans well over $4 per gallon.
"The President claims that we have record high production levels but this simply isn't true today. Thanks to the policies of President Bush production did increase in 2009-2010. After the April 20, 2010 Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the President issued a moratorium on new permits which led to a dramatic decline in production. In October 2010, President Obama lifted this moratorium but his administration has been slow in issuing new permits to drill. As a result, actual production in the gulf has been decreasing since June and is projected to continue to decrease.
"Today the House of Representatives passed two bills that will increase domestic production of oil and natural gas. This legislation not only will increase production but it will also hold companies accountable to improved safety standards and protocols. When we are able to produce energy from our public lands, royalty payments are made to the treasury which works to reduce the deficit.
"In a time of rising gas prices, the American people can no longer afford the negative impact of the Obama Administration's failed energy policies. I commend my colleagues for passing these bills, which if enacted will promote the growth of new jobs, promote energy independence and protect our country."